When you can’t afford the targets, lower the standards..

The headline in BBC News 21st December is: Ambulance targets: Plan for longer times revealed

So when you can’t afford the targets, lower the standards.. A small fee for ambulance use would solve this issue… but overt rationing by co-payment is considered political suicide..

Better Late Than Never Cartoon

Target times for ambulances to reach some seriously ill patients could be lengthened, the BBC has learned.

A leaked NHS document includes plans to change the response time for some Red 2 patients – those with “serious but not the most life-threatening” conditions – from eight to 19 minutes in England.

It said the plans had been approved by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, subject to approval by ambulance trust bosses.

The Department of Health said no decisions had been made.

“The secretary of state would only agree to proposed changes that improve response times for urgent cases,” it added in a statement.

Shadow health secretary Andy Burnham told the BBC Mr Hunt had urgent questions to answer, adding: “We need to hear from the health secretary today.”

‘Urgent request’

The memo said NHS England had “explicitly stressed” the plans were confidential, adding details of the proposals “should not be disseminated beyond the group” involved in the discussions.

But the document, written by the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives (AACE) and dated 16 December, has been leaked – and one ambulance service director told BBC home affairs correspondent Sally Chidzoy the plans were about “political expediency rather than patient safety”.

The document said there were existing plans for changes “after the general election” in May.

But it said Prof Keith Willett, of NHS England, made an “urgent request” for discussions due to “unprecedented demand” on health services – and now the “target for implementing these changes is the first week of January 2015”.

Adams cartoon December 22



This entry was posted in A Personal View, Rationing, Stories in the Media on by .

About Roger Burns - retired GP

I am a retired GP and medical educator. I have supported patient participation throughout my career, and my practice, St Thomas; Surgery, has had a longstanding and active Patient Participation Group (PPG). I support the idea of Community Health Councils, although I feel they should be funded at arms length from government. I have taught GP trainees for 30 years, and been a Programme Director for GP training in Pembrokeshire 20 years. I served on the Pembrokeshire LHG and LHB for a total of 10 years. I completed an MBA in 1996, and I along with most others, never had an exit interview from any job in the NHS! I completed an MBA in 1996, and was a runner up for the Adam Smith prize for economy and efficiency in government in that year. This was owing to a suggestion (St Thomas' Mutual) that practices had incentives for saving by being allowed to buy rationed out services in the following year.

1 thought on “When you can’t afford the targets, lower the standards..

  1. Pingback: Making rural hospitals sustainable – It is both quality hospital doctors and GPs we are short of… Please don’t be tempted to reduce standards.. | NHS reality. An NHS soapbox. Speakers' corner for the NHS.

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